A new collective bargaining agreement is currently being discussed in NFL circles, and it appears there could be some drastic changes on the way.
As it currently stands, the NFL season is 16 regular-season games in addition to four preseason games, and six teams from each conference make the postseason with the top two seeds earning first-round byes.
If all goes to plan though, that will no longer be the case. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, one of the changes being discussed and likely to be put in place for the 2020 season is expanding the postseason to seven teams per conference:
If and when a new collective bargaining agreement is finalized — and there is now mounting optimism it could be done sometime in the next week — it is expected to change the NFL’s playoff structure as it is currently constituted for next season, league sources told ESPN.
Under the current proposal that is expected to take effect in the new CBA when it is done, seven teams from each conference will qualify for the playoffs instead of the six that currently do. In addition, only one team from each conference will receive a first-round bye as opposed to the two that currently do, league sources said.
The changes to the NFL’s playoff format would take effect immediately for the 2020 season.
One other change that owners are pushing for is adding an extra regular-season game at the expense of a preseason game:
More details: Under the current CBA proposal that NFL owners are pushing for, the playoff field would be expanded to seven teams, while the regular season would be increased to 17 games per team, and the preseason shortened to three games per team, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 19, 2020
There likely won’t be any objections to adding a seventh playoff team, but the players union has drawn back about adding regular-season games in the past though so it will be interesting to see how those talks go this time around.
If the new playoff system were in place for the 2019 season, the Los Angeles Rams would have made the postseason as the seventh seed in the NFC.
Playing in the strong NFC West, this new system can only benefit the Rams moving forward so head coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead have to be excited about the potential for this to be put into motion this upcoming season.